Greetings MOL Family!
In order to live the Eden life, we must learn in the Eden school. This is the subject of today’s lesson, and also the wonderful, inspired textbook written by Sis. Ellen G. White, called Education. In some ways, I think that this book represents the acme of all the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy.
In The Eden School
You notice I said, “In some ways” – I’m leaving room for other things. This is a great mountain peak, this book Education. Let us read just a few lines from the opening paragraph of the last chapter:
Heaven is a school; its field of study, the universe; its teacher, the Infinite One. A branch of this school was established in Eden; and, the plan of redemption accomplished, education will again be taken up in the Eden school. – Education, pg. 301
So a million years from now, if we’re alive, and I hope we all will be; we will be in school. It’ll be the Eden school, and God will be the Teacher. With this introduction, let us turn to our text in Isaiah 54:13. This is speaking of the school of the hereafter – The Eden School. You notice that beginning with the 11th verse:
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. – Isaiah 54:11-13
This is the beautiful New Jerusalem, you see. Yes, here is the Eden school, and we’re all going to be taught of God; we’ll be taught about God; we’ll be taught of Him, from Him, by Him. God Himself will be with us, and be our Teacher. That is what went on in the Eden school here in this world 6,000 years ago. In this same book, Education, page 20, we read in the second chapter entitled “The Eden School”:
The system of education instituted at the beginning of the world was to be a model for man throughout all after time as an illustration of its principles a model school was established in Eden, the home of our first parents. The Garden of Eden was the school room, the Creator Himself was the instructor… – Education, pg. 20
What’s a model? A pattern, sample, something to copy, to imitate, to duplicate. So, you see there it was in the beginning, the Eden school. Who was the teacher? God was the teacher. And after sin is finished, time is ended, and we’re in the long eternity, again the Eden school. Who is the teacher? God. Aren’t you glad that in between we can have a bit of it? Aren’t you glad we can have something that is modeled after the Eden school in the beginning, and is a foretaste of the Eden school that awaits us?
Now turn to John 6, and I want you to notice that when Jesus quoted this text, our text from the Old Testament, He gave it an application in time. I mean in this present world:
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. – John 6:45
Was Jesus conducting an Eden school when He was here in this world? Yes, and He quoted this text on it. Through Christ, God the Father was teaching, and James, and Andrew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and the other disciples were a part of that school.
Now, in this book, we read:
In the training of His disciples the Saviour followed the system of education established at the beginning. – Education, pg. 84
What kind of school did He have then? The Eden school.
The Twelve first chosen, with a few others who through ministry to their needs were from time to time connected with them, formed the family of Jesus. – Ibid
You remember a week ago, we read this statement from this book, that the Eden school was a family school and that that’s God’s ideal plan.
The system of education established in Eden centered in the family. – Ibid, pg. 33
Jesus was carrying on a family school. Some people wouldn’t recognize it as such, but that’s what Inspiration calls it, so I think we’d better call it that; what do you say? If our understanding of what a family school is does not enable us to recognize what Jesus was doing as that type of education, then we need a broader view. As the first sentence of this book says:
Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. – Ibid, pg. 13
So, Jesus carried on in His work of training the Eden school, and this was a family school. The 12 first chosen, and a few others who through ministry to their needs were from time to time connected with them, formed the family of Jesus.
Turn, please, to Luke the 8th chapter and I want you to see that. His was a family school, it was a traveling school. It was a gospel, medical evangelistic company:
And it came to pass afterward, that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance. – Luke 8:1-3
Were they all poor? No. Some of them had money. What did they do with it? They used it to keep the school going, to keep Jesus going in His work of gospel medical missionary evangelism. Is that right? That’s what it says: “They ministered unto him of their substance.” Thank God, friends, some of them had been healed as the result of sharing in this program. No wonder they wanted to put their lives and their property and their assets into it. Believe me, when this spirit of the Eden life gets into us, we’ll want to share it with others.
In our last study, we looked at the triangle of love, and law, and labor as representing the Eden life. These are the lessons that we are to learn in the Eden school. Love as the motive, labor for others – unselfish labor for others as that which fills the life, and God’s law as the plan which we’re to follow. We’re not to be as Israel in the days of the judges, every man doing that which was right in his own eyes. We’re to be welded together, as the servant of God saw the Remnant church during the latter rain, moving in exact order like a company of soldiers; but held together not by the force of military discipline, but by something which is far closer and sweeter and stronger – the cement of love.
These are the lessons we are to learn in the Eden school. These are the lessons that Jesus taught His disciples. And notice that He taught them by having them with Him; that’s what Luke says, and that’s what Sis. White says. Those who were members of His school were members of His family, and they were with Him:
They were with Him in the house, at the table, in the closet. – Education, pgs. 84-85
What does ‘in the closet mean’? In the secret place of prayer. Now, must it not have been a great privilege to engage in a little prayer band with Jesus?
They were with Him in the house, at the table, in the closet, in the field. They accompanied Him on His journeys, shared His trials and hardships, and, as much as in them was, entered into His work. They pressed close beside Him that they might loose nothing of His instruction. – Ibid., pg. 85
You know, there’re many things that are present in most schools that were missing in that institution of learning. I doubt that there was any class roll. I don’t think there was any monitor that kept the records. Why not? The pupils in that school, it says, were eager listeners. They pressed close to the Teacher, anxious to get all that He had for them. Now they had their faults, God knows. But, friends, they knew something of why they were there, and they wanted to get what Jesus had. Did they get it? Thank God, friends, 11 out of the 12 got it, didn’t they? And others that were associated with them.
The Textbooks of the Eden School
I want you to notice, for a few minutes, the textbooks in the Eden school. These are the textbooks in the original garden school. They will be the textbooks all through the School of the hereafter. They are the textbooks now in those educational programs which are patterned after the Eden school. There are three: the Word, and works, and ways of God. Those are the three great textbooks.
By the Word, I mean the spoken or written messages that God gives to His students. By His works, I mean the things of nature about us – the heavens and the earth. And by His ways, I mean the things that happen from day to day, in the lives of men. Other names for those three great books are: Revelation, creation, and providence. But whatever the names we use, those are the three great textbooks in the Eden school. Those are original sources.
In the Bible, we have not what men have thought, but what God has said. Here we have a message coming directly from the Creator of the universe. Can you think of anything more wonderful or more important to study than this?
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life. – John 5:39
The Eden life is in this Book, my friends.
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15
Oh, I wish I knew how to inspire each one with the determination to fill your mind with this Book. The Waldenses committed to memory whole books of the Bible. Thus when they went out from their Enoch outposts to spread the message of salvation, they carried not only a few copies written, concealed in their garments; they carried hundreds and thousands of pages stored here, in the mind, that nobody could take from them.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart…”
It’s not too late to enroll in this program at the Eden School. Join us, to learn what it means to become a pious, intelligent, and studious disciple of Christ. Until next week, invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.